On 23 May, Lower Sixth Politicians were incredibly fortunate to be invited by the Cabinet Secretary to visit 10 Downing Street and meet with him.
We were treated to a full tour of the historic building, gifted to Robert Walpole by King George II in 1732. We entered through the famous front door and across the black and white tiles first installed by Lord North in the 1770s to the Cabinet Room, where a Cabinet meeting had recently concluded. We were then taken up the famous yellow staircase past photographs of every Prime Minister to the White Drawing Room where meetings with foreign leaders often occur, including President Zelensky earlier this year.
Pupils were also shown a desk where William Pitt the Younger wrote to Napoleon, Asquith wrote to the Kaiser, and Chamberlain wrote to Hitler. Tours of Number 10 are rare, and the pupils were treated to some excellent anecdotes and memorable insights into the history of the building. They were also able to see the artwork, and decor, and learn how it operates as an everyday office. There was an audible gasp as the Prime Minister passed us in a corridor.
Following the tour, we were taken to the Cabinet Office building in Whitehall, where pupils sat around a grand table with the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Simon Case. Mr Case spoke to the pupils and then answered very well-considered questions on a range of topics, including his journey to his current position, the challenges of his job, and impartiality of the Civil Service providing a fascinating insight into his role and the running of the country.
Thank you to Ms McNally (Teacher of History and Politics), Mr Traeger (Teacher of History and Politics) Miss Sheffield and the rest of the History and Politics Department for their support, and to all the pupils for being so engaged and a credit to themselves and Mill Hill. Thank you to Miss Sheffield (Teacher of History and Politics) for recording the day with some wonderful photographs. Overall, the trip was an unforgettable afternoon for everyone involved.
Teacher of History and Politics